The Best Way to Make Tea
For most people, brewing tea is a simple process. You have to boil water, let the tea steep, and then add sweeteners. But if you drink tea regularly, you know that brewing tea can be a true art form and using the proper techniques can make all the difference from a bitter brew to a layered and nuanced flavor.
There are a few techniques you can use to elicit the best tea taste every time you brew a cup of tea. With this handy guide, you'll discover the best way to make tea in just a few simple steps. Plus, we'll give you some insider tips on how you can elicit the best-tasting notes from any tea type.
The Best Way to Make Tea
- Start by filling a tea kettle or a large stovetop pan with fresh water. Spring water and filtered water are the best options since they'll highlight the true flavor of the loose tea leaves.
- Heat the water in the teapot or pan to the right temperature. Each type of tea is different and brews best with different water temperatures. For herbal teas, black teas and pu-erh teas heat the water to 200 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. For delicate teas like white tea, temperatures between 150 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit are a better choice. Check out our guide to tea brewing for beginners for guidelines on how to brew each type of tea.
- Once the water reaches the desired temperature, pour a little bit of the hot water into your teacup. Swish the hot liquid around to warm up the cup and then discard the water.
- Place your loose tea leaves into a tea strainer or infuser and add to the hot water. Make sure to use high-quality tea leaves and avoid store teas that come in tiny tea bags for the best flavor. As a rule of thumb, use one teaspoon for every eight ounces of boiling water.
- Steep the loose tea in the water or 2 to 10 minutes. As with water temperature, different teas need different steeping times. You can refer to our beginner guide for more information on proper steeping times for everything from green tea and oolong tea to herbal tisanes.
- Sweeteners can be added to liven up a simple cup of tea. You can add milk and sugar or honey, spices, and agave.
Tips For Eliciting the Best Flavor From Your Tea
Use Hot Water
While cold brewing tea is popular, it doesn't elicit the same level of flavor as brewing with hot water. That's because it takes cold water much longer to develop the flavors you get in just a few minutes brewing tea with hot water.
If you want to make iced tea instead of hot tea, brew the tea using hot water as outlined above. Let the tea cool to room temperature before serving over ice cubes or storing it in the refrigerator for later use.
Use High-Quality Ingredients
All tea starts with water and it's one of the most important components to a great cup of tea. Tap water contains chemicals like chlorine that can alter the natural flavor of the tea. Instead, use high-quality water sources like spring water and fresh filtered water.
Store Tea Properly
Tea that is left outside on the counter will taste less amazing compared to tea that is stored properly. Loose leaf tea should always be stored in an airtight container away from direct sunlight. Light and air can cause the tea flavor to become dull. Good storage ideas include resealable tea pouches, tea tins, and dark glass jars with airtight lids.
Focus on Temperature
As we mentioned above, making tea properly involves bringing the water to the right temperature. Some teas develop flavors best when brewed at a rolling boil while others are better when the water is less hot. To brew tea at the right temperature, use these general guidelines:
- White Tea: 175 degrees Fahrenheit
- Green Tea: 150-170 degrees Fahrenheit
- Oolong Tea: 190 degrees Fahrenheit
- Black Tea: 200 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit
- Pu-erh Tea: 200 to 208 degrees Fahrenheit
- Herbal Tea: 205 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit
Brew the Tastiest Tea
When it comes to tea brewing, the amount of time, the amount of tea, and the quality of ingredients can all affect flavor. To make the perfect cup of tea, follow these easy steps for the best way to make tea. In addition to general guidelines, personal preference will also dictate how you make the best cup of tea. People who like strong, bold flavors make want to increase the steeping time while others who prefer sweeter notes will want to add sweeteners like honey and agave.
Whether you like bold English Breakfast tea and Earl Grey tea or prefer lighter flavors from white tea and rooibos, you're sure to enjoy each cup that much more when it's brewed properly. Grab your favorite loose leaf tea and brew a delightful single cup or share the love by brewing a pot of tea to share with family and friends.